Inside Self-Storage

JUN 2019

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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per square foot. As your plan takes shape, replace your rough estimates with solid numbers, backed by quotes from subcontractors. Then you can create a more detailed income projection based on the actual unit mix and rates. Keep in mind that changing your plans after financing is in place and construction has started will cause delays and run up expenses. Assess the Building The construction requirements of a self-storage conversion will vary depending on the condition of the building and scope of the changes. Here are a few key items to examine. Let's start with the exterior. The roof is a major item that may need attention. Most projects will also require some revision to the loading/unloading area and entrances, which may require the installation of automatic doors and access control. New signs, paint and aesthetic improvements are typically part of the renovations. The site may also need new driveways or parking. Landscaping and exterior lighting may need to be addressed. Inside the building, demolition is generally the first order of business. Removing unnecessary walls will open the space to prepare for self-storage. Pay attention to the floor. Stripping tiles, grinding away imperfections and filling holes can be a major undertaking. The remaining walls and ceilings are usually painted white for a clean start. This is best done before bringing in new materials. If the HVAC system needs updating or replacement, this is also easiest to do while the building is empty. Adjustments to the lighting system should follow, which typically involves the installation of new, motion-activated banks of lights over the hallways. Most projects will also include installation or reconfiguration of sprinkler systems. Don't assume the existing sprinklers are adequate, as self-storage may be considered a higher fuel load than the previous use. Other interior tasks will likely include remodeling restrooms and creating or renovating an office. Stowaway Self-Storage in Johnson City, Tenn., was converted from a former grocery store. 40 ISS I June 2019

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